‘We Are Seeing a Pattern Now’: Move-Ins To New Canaan Expected To Drive Record-High Kindergarten Enrollment

Due mainly to young families moving to town, New Canaan Public Schools are projected to see a net gain of 72 students next academic year, creating one of the highest total enrollments that the district has seen in decades, officials said Monday. In the first public release of current enrollment figures and projections since the district’s Oct. 1 report date, officials during the Board of Education’s regular meeting reported that total students will rise from 4,174 in this academic year to 4,246 for 2016-17, according to the New England School Development Council (see “Nov. 9 Staffing and Enrollment” presentation):


“In looking at our school district’s historical enrollment, using our pre-K to 12 enrollment this year of 4,217, 10 years ago in 2005 we had 4,163,” Gary Kass, the district’s director of human resources, said during the meeting, held in the Wagner Room at NCHS. “We are 54 students higher, and this slow but steady growth is also predicted for our future.

Concerns Arise as Enrollment Drives up Projected Class Sizes at Elementary Schools

The district will see a steep increase in the number of kids in New Canaan’s elementary schools this coming year, preliminary data show, prompting concerns from some education officials about average class sizes. Projections call for 1,674 elementary-level students in New Canaan Public Schools. Though that figure may be higher than the number of kids who actually show up next Wednesday for the first day of school, it represents a net increase of 72 kids over the last academic year. District officials said during Monday night’s Board of Education meeting that East, South and West schools plan to absorb the additional students with a net increase of just one more class/section. (Tables with average classroom size projections for each school are interspersed throughout this article.)

School board Secretary Dionna Carlson said she’s concerned that six out of the 15 grades (kindergarten through fourth, in each of the three elementary schools) are either at or slightly above class size guidelines.